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MotoGP Sepang test: On fire Lorenzo ends with a one-second lead

Reigning MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo stamped his authority on the Sepang test in the last laps of the final day, pulling a second lead over next fastest man Valentino Rossi and dipping under the 2’00 lap mark with a 1’59.580 using Michelin’s harder option tyres.

The Movistar Yamaha man went into his penultimate run with six-tenths over Rossi but upped the pace significantly to make it 0.976 over the legendary Italian on his last fast lap while Marc Marquez and Cal Crutchlow scrapped it out for top Honda honours.

Marquez had been 1.5s off the pace but went out right at the death, just behind the LCR Honda man. Crutchlow hopped from the wrong end of the top ten into third with a 2’00.992 on his 40th lap but he was just beaten by the Repsol Honda man by 0.078s.

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Ducati test rider and former champion Casey Stoner was the quickest of the Ducati men, sitting in fifth place on a 2’01.096, set on his fourth lap of the day, and the Australian rider ended 1.490s off the pace in his first proper test on a MotoGP bike in more than a year.

Marquez’ team-mate Dani Pedrosa picked himself up from yesterday’s turn five tumble to secure sixth place but has been complaining of corner entry problems whereas Marquez has been all about getting corner exit traction. Work to do for HRC there, then.

Octo Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci proved his pace yesterday was not down to a soft-tyre, screen-bite lap as he ended with a 2’01.217, 0.056s slower than Pedrosa while Andrea Iannone used the new GP16 Ducati all day to end on a 2’01.223 in eighth.

Scott Redding, on the second Octo Ducati, finished up with a 2’01.229, only 0.006s down on Iannone with Maverick Vinales completing the top ten on his works Suzuki with a 2’01.224. Only six-tenths cover the places two to nine…

Hector Barbera, last year’s Open class champ, was 11th on a 2’01.434 with Aleix Espargaro next along, 0.189 down. Andrea Dovizioso is again struggling in 13th place with Yonny Hernandez behind him.

It has not been a good test for Pol Espargaro with two crashes yesterday and only a laptime good enough for 15th today. Monster Yamaha team-mate Bradley Smith was one place behind but completed a massive 65 laps including runs on Michelin’s intermediate tyres.

Eugene Laverty returned to action after his Monday crash and completed 25 laps with a best of 2’03.519 - not bad with a mangled hand.

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